It’s not uncommon for mothers to struggle with how they’re feeling. Becoming a mother is a time of enormous change, physically, mentally and emotionally. And, according to research, 74% of women won’t reach out for help until they’re past the point of coping, which is not ideal for them or their family.
Throughout motherhood we’re in a constant state of change. Women can benefit greatly when they’re able to openly talk about their feelings and emotional well being both during pregnancy after their baby is born and throughout the motherhood journey.
Unfortunately there seems to be a lot of shame around perinatal anxiety and depression because mothers expect to be happier than ever after they’ve had a baby and if they’re not they must be a horrible parent. But they’re not.
Here are some common struggles that mothers experience that counselling can help with.
- Perinatal anxiety and depression
- Prolonged teariness, feeling hopeless or ‘flat’
- Feeling hopeless or worthless, unable to enjoy things
- Not being able to rest or sleep even if the baby is
- Constant worry about the baby, feeling on edge and unable to relax
- Racing thoughts, can't switch off, restless
- Intrusive thoughts that shock or scare you
- Frequently angry, frustrated or irritable
- Changes to appetite – weight loss or gain
- Panic attacks
- Identity. Parenthood can send mothers into an identity crisis: who am I as a mother? How am I different from my own mother? The same? This can be very confronting!
- Intimacy issues, sexual and non-sexual. A mismatch in intimacy can cause conflict and frustration
- Becoming a mother. (The wonderful Elly Taylor has identified that there’s actually twelve transitions to parenthood) physical, financial, psychological, emotional, cultural, relational, social, sexual, spiritual, generational, gender role, vocational, time
- Adjusting to your parenting style from baby to infant to child to adolescent
- Divorce and separation
- Low self-esteem
- Career changes
- Stress and time management
- Anger management
- Relationship conflict with friends and family